HWACHEON, South Korea, Jan. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The number of visitors to an ice fishing festival held in the northern town of Hwacheon surpassed the 1 million mark for the eighth straight year, the organizing committee said on Monday.
The number of people who attended the 2014 Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival topped 1 million in just three weeks after its opening, according to the organizing committee and Hwacheon county officials. The number of foreign visitors surpassed the 100,000 mark.
The festival, which is set to run from Jan. 4-26, marked its 11th anniversary this year. Since 2006, the number of visitors has surpassed the 1 million mark every year.
Since 2003, the festival attracted visitors to the Gangwon town some 118 kilometers north of Seoul, offering a variety of programs including ice fishing and sleigh riding. In 2011, the festival was not held due to an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.
Festival-goers bobbed their fishing lines in and out of some 15,000 holes drilled into the river ice to catch sancheoneo, a type of mountain trout.
Tickets for ice fishing, the main attraction at the festival, were sold out within three hours, according to the organizing committee.
Many of the visitors also enjoyed catching sancheoneo with bare hands and explored a high ice wall, it added.
"We plan to promote the ice fishing festival as a cultural event with a global touch," said Jeong Gab-cheol, head of Hwacheon County. "I appreciate all of you for helping the festival set the record of attracting more than 1 million visitors for the eighth straight year."